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tv   Capital News Today  CSPAN  November 23, 2011 11:00pm-2:00am EST

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world, and others, what sort of created that. did people get so captivated by that hubris represented by the ceo like dennis kozlowski that they got so fixated on the individuals and didn't really dig into the systemic questions that were being posed by these instruments that in the up leading to the 07 and 08 collapse. just a thought on what was going on with the investigative reporting on derivatives during that first half of the decade. >> i think most reporters probably don't understand derivatives so we tend to shy away from what you don't understand which is not a good excuse for reporters but it happens. its reality. frankly i think a lot of regulators didn't understand
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derivatives and tended to shy away from them and politicians basically didn't care about them because everybody seemed happy. i think people convince themselves that enron, world,, some of the others were world office. worldcom put their books on accounting. kozlowski spend money like there was no tomorrow. there was a certain amount of that problem is fixed the congress passed in law, but then there's this whole other world over here that was similar connected in a sense with things like the mortgage-backed securities market, but in the 2000 time period the indicated to the collapse there was a huge amount of momentum pushing the
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market forward. president of the united states for everybody should own a home, congress with republicans and democrats were happily saying yeah let's make it easier to own homes and let's not to kill gatt how it's happening whether people can afford it and whether they are lying on their loan applications. the system got, in that area, got almost laughably control and nobody seemed to care. there were some stories that raised some red flags but it was such a huge tidal wave of activity and optimism that i don't know maybe journalists could have stopped, but there was a certain systemic large number of people involved in that that didn't stop until they couldn't get to the merry go round going anymore. >> yes.
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>> first of all thank you for coming and speaking with us. one of my classmates today said when all of this was going on ten years ago a lot of us were young and we had no idea what was going on. all we sold was the commercial from cnn and where our parents were just telling us physically. and i shouldn't say kids come to go into corporate america, corporate company or any company out there when they start to feel something is going on in the company at what point do they say i need to leave something doesn't feel right so they can avoid having to questions such as these were just looking back saying i really shouldn't have worked with him, at what point should
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they feel something is wrong within the company? >> actually the right point to raise and need to ask why and ask questions, and if you don't get satisfactory answers you keep asking and if you have reason to not trust your executives or the people you work for you got a decision to make whether to leave or stay. it's a very difficult question but you really do particularly post enron where that is a possibility but something that you can believe separate you do have to have confidence in the people you work for. you want to trust the man to believe them. you don't want to come to work every day and represent a company that you don't believe in. so you do have to ask those questions. estimate other questions here from the audience. >> i'm trying to understand why you decided to do things to this
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day when all of the store is the congressman stayed out you state for two and a half years, i mean wasn't there a point you were like you just said before in your talk you were not sure what they were saying was the truth and how do you continue to stay like how can your conscience let you do that? >> once the file for bankruptcy it became a different company. it was owned by the creditors. we had a cheap restructuring officer brought in and new management team brought in. it was under the law is of the bankruptcy court, and it became a completely different company. our job was to cooperate with investigations to maximize value for creditors and preserve jobs. we still had a number of employees. the pipeline companies were really the only asset driven companies and they have and those employees get their job. they continue working so there
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was still viable business was part of the bankruptcy. >> the enron that everybody wrote about and cared about was no more. it was a ghost, a corpse. i don't know if this is karen's case that there's a number of people that set partly because they wanted to get a paycheck. they wanted the job. having in rahm on your resume wasn't exactly getting recruiters knocking on your door. so that was i suppose another issue for some people but as a different entity. i wasn't going to be borrowing more money from people are selling more stock. it wasn't going to be giving anything it did in that incredible run it has recently 15 years. >> 15 being part of the
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relations and the broadcast interviews, how has in your view public relations change with something like this? because in terms of actions come into play and public companies and now with the media everybody can do videos and it's not just in your control anymore. islamic the change the evidence of social media and when this happens there were not so many, there wasn't facebook, there wasn't the social media. the field with which anything happens is much faster now. >> are there companies being more cautious because legal repercussions and you have things like the social media that can come back and back fire a lot more quickly?
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>> i would say there's certainly more legal guidelines, but if you look back since 2008 companies still have questionable process these and that's really continued. >> some of my colleagues to cover corporations on an ongoing basis more than i do have told me they've been told sort of, you know, by the occasional person corporations now carry much less about the publications like "the wall street journal," "the new york times" and focus more on social media because they feel that it's much easier to get the message of and kind of an uncensored way and i guess they think it is easier to manipulate the social media than it is the press picture given how easy it is to manipulate the press that's quite a statement. but i do think that is, you know, those kind of sources are
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diminishing the power and importance and a lot of corporations by the traditional media. >> i think we have time for one more question here, yes. said mickey made the point are you were not involved, you were not the one doing the numbers and you shouldn't be blamed and you add that because the fact you don't feel blamed you were not a part of the people of the individuals that were causing this entire problem. but how about for the people that caused the current economic crisis and that work feeling of the questionable practices they are not the one serving jail time. there is no repercussion on that and i want to hear your opinion on that. >> i think it is unfortunate. i mean enron was the first and really to john's played the onslaught of the government investigations and scrutiny was
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unique. i don't think the wall street firms, the financial houses at the same scrutiny. i think the government was willing to step in and bail them out. and it's, again, jeff is the one in the jail cell. >> de want to comment on that? >> is it 24 years? >> they still got his appeal, although it's getting grimmer and grimmer. he's not due to be released at center court decision until ten or 15 years maybe. this coming december he will be in five years.
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>> and andy got very lucky. he cut a deal with the government to cooperate after waiting a while long enough to get his wife indicted and put into prison for year. he got a deal and basically took a ten year prison sentence but was supposedly not reducible. then he got a judge that felt sorry for him, felt that indy 500 had been kind of badly treated and so he gave him six years and for in the i think now he is in a halfway house which usually after the last six months in a federal prison in a halfway house is to kind of transition back into the community. so, andy was never talked as well as on a ho-hum to anybody
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in the press. and all what the plans are. i think that he's still married. >> i think that he knows the enron people in jail. as the mckibben to death the panelists and everyone for coming. [applause]
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failed to agree on a debt reduction plan this week. $600 billion in defense department cuts will go into effect in 2013 if congress doesn't act. the center for strategic and budgetary assessment held a forum on this topic which runs about an hour.
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>> good morning, everyone and happy thanksgiving. i want to introduce this morning our senior fellow for budgetary studies, tauter terrorism, who's going to provide some perspective on the failure of the super committee this week to agree on a plan for debt reduction over the coming decade and he will also talk about its implications specifically on defense and what this means for the current budget as well as for the budgets as we look ahead and for some of the key defense programs. with that let me turn it over to todd. islamic thank you and all of you for coming a day before thanksgiving. the purpose of this briefing is basically to talk about the post super committee budget environment. the title of my briefing here defense in the age of austerity we've gotten tired of using the phrase age of austerity. so we tried to come up with
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other examples of cooperation to explain this ending. i favored as the bottom, period of persistent penny pinching and parsimonious. if you are looking for other ways to describe it, feel free to use any of these. i want to start i have a few slides prepared and then we will open up for questions for most of the time here. here we are this is the budget time line. the budget control act of 2011 passed back in august set off a chain of events and began with the super kennedy, and it did a number of things. in addition to creating the super committee charged with finding 1.2 trillion, at least 1.2 trillion additional deficit reduction it also said immediate calf's on the fiscal year 12 budget. the budget to note we should note is still pending in congress. we are on a continuing resolution right now for the fiscal year that lasts through
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december 16th and it is highly likely that continuing resolution will be extended further of least until january to give congress more time to put together a bill. the super committee of course is the story this week. today with their deadline to come up with a proposal monday they announced they were not going to meet that deadline. what that means is without congress having time to consider a proposal or having a proposal even to consider, it triggers the sequestering mechanism in the bill. what sequestration means is that now the budget caps on various parts of the discretionary budget and medicare are lowered. they are lower than what they initially were set up for fy 12th and they are going to remain at a lower level for the rest of the decade unless congress does something to undo it. now interestingly there is a one year deily before the enforcement of the sequestration
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actually goes into effect. so that means a cloud of uncertainty will be hanging over the discretionary budget including the defense budget potentially for the next 13 months. it's not on children were a second of 2013 before sequestration actually goes into enforcement and money is to get out of the budget so that means they will be able to talk about this, debate it to get around, and a potentially not do anything about its until after the november 2012 election. i think there is a fair chance that that's what actually will happen, and so that means not only the department of defense but other parts of the government are going to have this cloud hanging over them for the next year. i shall also noted there are several other things going on in the department of defense right now. we've got a comprehensive strategic review that's been in the works since april. it's the report out next month
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on basically taking a look at our strategy for the next ten years or so. and also at the same time the fy 13 budget is being worked by the department so they are already working on the top 15 right now. fy 15 -- sorry. i'm sorry. we will just leave that alone. they are working on the fy for routine budget and it's important to note that the 2013 budget the target they are working for is about 525 billion. that's the initial cap set by the budget control. the department has indicated they are not working, they are not working on a contingency plan were budget that would fit within the sequestration, so
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that's where they are right now. they don't have a contingency fallback plan for sequestration at this point that could change in the coming months. and the budget they are working on now will come out in february to come out the first monday in february. so what we may have happened here is the sequestration cuts are looming. we know the budget cap would be under the sequestration and they may come out, they will likely come out under the caps in 2013 and i should also know in the early stages of claiming the 2014 budget right now so they don't know what f. white balls exactly will be yet. there is a lot of uncertainty about that funding and they may not have that cleared up within the next year and they are already trying to plan for a flight 13 and beyond, so the take away from this is the uncertainty and the defense budget about the sequestration could persist for a year or
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longer and the question now is what are we going to see in the fy 13 budget request. secure are the range of possibilities. i could disappear to show you what really could happen under sequestration, what it means for the level of defense spending. the initial cuts under the largest control act are shown on the purple bottomline the third one down from the top. of budget you see the green dotted line that was the dod projection of spending and fy 12 budget request in the future they are projecting growth in defense spending over the next five years and flattening out inflation for the latter half of the decade. the red line for references the baseline in terms of deficit reduction cbo baseline assumes
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the continue to the future so that means most items in the defense budget or just allowed to grow with inflation but certain things like personal cost but are linked to a different measure who were actually faster than inflation for growth there. so the purple land is the cap and the voters control act and the sequestration is the lower line, the light blue line. the way the law is written when the sequestration goes into effect you take an equal amount of and divide the roughly 500 billion cuts that the mandates over the next nine years not to years, nine years. you divide it equally across the years that's when you see the budget drop suddenly and if we 15 and they continue the relatively flat over the rest of the decade. looking at this that means if we 13 the sequestration actually goes into affect the base defense budget would drop to roughly the level but was in
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2007. when i look at this is not the death of the cut, believed to that concerns me, it is the abruptness that the ocher. you're not allowed to move money between the years. you can move money between accounts between the budget cap but you can't move between years so this presents several challenges for the dod their personal related costs and acquisition costs starting of personnel costs on the left side here this is a breakdown of the chart showing all the different components of the military pay and benefits that were in the fy talf budget request to reply to this appear to show you a couple of things military pay and benefits have been growing at a significant rate over the past decade. as you combine the military personnel account plus the
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defense program which funds things like tricare, those accounts together have grown by 59 per cent in real terms while the number of people serving in the active-duty military has only grown by 4%. the number of people remain roughly flat while the army army corps have increased the navy and air force have actually decreased in the size of the past decade. that means the cost on the per person basis has gone up 40% in real terms over the past decade. the reason for this are the congress has enacted higher than requested pay raises for the dod year after year. health care costs have been growing rapidly not just in dod but across the country in general and additional bonuses in the incentive have been added over the past decade as we have had some problems in recruiting and retention. now two things i want to highlight here the top of the pie chart and the defense program, like i said before,
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this covers things like tricare, the basic health care for the troops and the military run hospitals and clinics all over the world. this particular item in the budget has grown by 85% in real terms over the past decade. a tremendous growth. it is due to health care inflation in the overall economy the retail areas and dependence luck and stay in the military health care system because the annual premium starts retirees has not been increased since 1995. the retirees can pay $30 a month and get full health care coverage for themselves and all of their dependence. that hasn't been indexed with inflation and has not increased 1 penny since 1995. as a result, many of these working age military free ty cherry is coming and keep in mind a lot of people get out of the military 20 years of service
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in your early forties they go and they have a second career in the private sector rather than going on their private employers' health care plan it is more cost-effective for them just in the military health care system and that is adding rapidly to the military health care budget. the other thing i would point out at the bottom, the orange slice of the plight the dot has to set aside almost $11 billion a year now to fund this program. it did not exist in 2001. it was first created in 2001 and started budgeting in 2002. this equates to $5,580 for every active duty surface member every year they have to set aside for this program. what is tricare for life? is a medicare supplemental insurance policy that only applies to the military retirees for those who served 20 years or more in the military and it only becomes effective once you turn 65 and go on medicare. it's free for the military
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retiree is to take the program to take no annual premium and in the private sector and equivalent plan would cost about $2,000 a year at least according to the omb. so this is a new benefit. it occurs to a very small percentage of people who serve in the military, less than 20% of people who serve actually stay to the point of retirement and therefore qualify for this benefit in the future. but nevertheless we have to set aside $5,580 per year for every single member of the active-duty military to provide this benefit. the other major challenge i see for the dod is an acquisition. i think is likely if sequestration is allowed to go into effect that we will see the majority of the cuts, half of them or more, coming out of the acquisition side of the budget and the acquisition is only about one-third of the total dod base of budget. why is that? a lot of the things you can do to save money on the defense
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budget take time to implement. the bill according to their own estimates has in excess capacity basis around the country and around the world you can close the bases but that takes time and actually in many cases would cost money upfront to shut them down. doing things like reforming pay and benefits will take time to grandfather the changes so they don't affect people who fall for the retired or who are already serving as the dod stated they would do. and then a few look at other options like reducing the number of personnel both of the dod civilians and military personnel, if you want to avoid actual layoffs and reduced the number of personnel just using attrition that will take time as well. so what does that leave you with? instead of making some of the structural changes in the short term the dod will be forced to make quick cuts and the quickest way to cut money is an acquisition. so we could see programs being
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terminated outright, the joint light tactical vehicles this month that the appropriators have already targeted in their fy 12 phill. there could be others that would come out in the near future. we could see the delay the start of the new programs there are a number of programs that the devotee is planning. they could delay the start of those in order to free up money in the near term or they could slow the pace of develop and or the pace of procurement. the joint strike fighter obviously stands out and is the largest program in the dod portfolio, and i think size matters here. when we are going down the list of programs and looking to free up billions of dollars you're going to start looking at the big programs. i've shown here in this tornado chart as we call it the top 12th acquisition programs as were listed in last year's report to congress about acquisition programs. i would point out there are a number of new programs that are
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not listed here yet the would be a major acquisition programs, but because they were new they are not included yet. the air force replacement program is not in there. the air force next-gen bomber is not in there. the navy replacement for their nuclear ballistic missile submarines is not in there yet. so there's a number of programs in the vehicle, another one not in there yet. but as the d.o.t. starts to look at bringing up money in the budget and as congress looks to free get money in the budget i think they are likely to target a number of these major acquisition programs. so what is the potential impact on the acquisition funding? if it's going to be hit the hardest over the next few years i did some calculations here. i ran for different scenarios. for their preference of the top in the purple line this is the planned increase acquisition funding that was in last year's's budget submission and conagra's you can see they
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planned to substantially increase acquisition funding enough white balls and beyond. of course that has been overcome by events. the next line, these are the initial cuts. this is what is implied by the initial cuts in the budget control act and assuming half the cuts will come out of the acquisition funding and half of them out of the rest of the budget. so, under that scenario we have seen about a 6% drop in acquisition funding in fy 13 and this is relative to the current level of funding, fy 11 levels of funding. ..
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if you exempt military personnel from the cuts that means everything else in the budget has to be cut by a greater percentage in order to fit below the cab so we are looking at an 18% reduction in the rest of the budget including requisitions. you say the cuts under sequestration and dod gets ahead of the curb and they start targeting the cuts, and they target half of them in acquisition and half of the rest of the budget than where looking at a potential drop of 21% in acquisition funding in fy13. i should compare this to secretary's -- number. he came out with a number 23%. is using a different baseline. here i'm using a baseline of current funding fy11 level of funding. his baseline that he was using going back to my other chart, he
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is using the green light at the top for fy13. dod previously planned their budget would go up to 571 billion in fy13. that is what you says his baseline when he comes up with a 23% reduction and he is also sending military personal -- personnel accounts will be exempt. if you are in the numbers i would be a 23% reduction but of course that baseline is what -- not what dod is planning. the current budget they are working on is planning for a level of funding of $525 billion in fy13 and under sequestration would drop to 472 billion fy13. so last slide here, how do you manage this? there is an old saying, friend of mine in the air force pointed this out to me recently. that you either change the way you do business or you change the business you do. i think under the deepest cuts we are talking about here under sequestration the department may very well need to do both.
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both change the way it does business and change the business it does. in a previous report we put out here, adam montgomery and i were co-authors. we outlined three ways dod could try to change the way it does business. first is in pay and benefits. over the past decade we have seen congress enact a lot of additional benefits. they have expanded benefits and added to pay for dod. it's not that we can single out specific things here that they should not have done or should be rolled back. the problem is that these things have been added without understanding what it means for the troops. how do they value these various benefits. so the first thing we should do is start focusing on getting better value for the money we are already spending on pay and benefits. we need to understand the preferences of servicemembers. they had to have a voice and in this in their preferences ought to weigh into this rather than simply finding things to cut.
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poor example i will give you the tricare for life program. given the costs per year, per servicemember that we pay for that program we have to ask ourselves, do they value tricare for life commensurate with what it is costing us to provide? consider that less than 20% of them will ever actually earned this benefit because more than 80% don't save for retirement so they will never qualify for this benefit. how much do they value it? with a preferred you know, a cash bonus of some lesser value rather than paying for this benefit? these are the questions dod has to ask in the private sector they call this preference-based benefits authorization. companies do this all the time. they go in and find out how people value various aspects of their compensation. if a dental plan is costing $500 a year to provide and people would prefer $250 in cash, well it seems like a win-win
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situation that you give them the cash rather than the benefit. you save money and they are just as happy and in. there are opportunities i believe in pay and benefits for us to do this but what would be required is to step back and have something like the qdr independent panel recommended a couple of years ago, that we have an independent commission that goes off and study says and collects data from servicemembers and comes up with a comprehensive set of reforms and proposes it to congress. qdr an independent panel i believe the commission they envision would have the powers to submit something to congress and congress would then have to give an up-or-down vote without amendments. they either accepted or rejected. i think that is a good idea now is the right hand to do it. unmanned system is another area. we have seen of the liberation of the use of unmanned systems over the past decade. they have been very effective in the wars in iraq and afghanistan. there are a lot of cost
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advantages to uav's as well. they require fewer personnel to operate, fewer training resources and you don't have to buy as many of the platforms to achieve the same level of capability. i can go into more detail of people have questions but i think that this is an area that dod should attempt to exploit more in the future. you are effectively substituting technology for labor when you do this. there are limits of course. current technology limits the application of uav's to relatively permissive environments. that is where there are not air defenses in terms of uav's and are not subject to jamming because while these planes are unmanned, they are still remotely piloted so they have to maintain a communications link with them but if we invest smartly in our science and technology budget we can make advances in automation so we do not have to always maintain a
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positive control with the systems and we can work on more resilient communications systems that can withstand jamming and of course uav's are already out there. there are already designs on the board so we can operate and denied the environment so they don't get shot down. the last item here is talking about changing the way we work with our allies in and the role of our allies. the idea is that a number of our partners around the world, our allies and partners, if they have not had to spend nearly as much on defense in recent years as a percent of their economy as we have. we have spent a little over 4% of gdp on their defense which includes war funding. a lot of our european allies spend less than 2% and around the world figures are similar. so the idea here is well maybe they should pick up a greater share of the burden for defense as we have a lot of interesting comment.
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so our fiscal constraints actually present an opportunity to try to force them or encourage them to do this. we can incentivize some of our allies to take a greater responsibility for their own security. foreign military sales being links to export and other countries can have a dual benefit that helps sustain our defense industry during a downturn and it also helps enable our allies to pick up a greater share of the burden. india may be a good candidate for this approach. they have shown a willingness already to increase their defense spending. we should help them do this and encourage them. and as a result then, that means we don't have to shed commitmens around the world but we can reduce our participation to some degree and that will allow us to effectively save money in our defense budget. that is all i have. i will start taking questions. tony, have you got one?
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[inaudible] >> sequestration, yeah, sequestration right now and i should say fy11 the defense budget enacted by congress the base defense budget not including the wars here is $530 billion. under sequestration in fy13, it would drop to approximately $472 quintillion plus or minus a couple of billion because congress can move money around between accounts a little bit during that time. [inaudible] >> a if you adjust for inflation the base defense budget in 2007 was i believe 473 billion when you would just for inflation. so we are talking sequestration would take it back to basically the same level in 2007. >> he said things are more expensive now. what do you say to that?
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>> it sure. things have gotten more expensive. five years of gum buy-in costs in dod are increasing faster than inflation. the reason for a lot of that cost growth though his personnel costs. pay has gone up faster than inflation. the cost of health care has gone up faster than inflation and these are things that in all fairness to their arguments are hard to roll back. especially if you are going to roll back five years of cost growth within one year. if you look at the fundamentals, we basically have the same size military today that we did in 2007. it is just costing us more to fund that military. >> follow-up follow up on a different subject. panetta put a statement out after the supercommittee that basically said he would support the president be doing sequestration roll back. what you think about with the doom and gloom he is laid out? is he trying to have it both
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ways? >> it does seem he is trying to play both sides of the argument here a bit. he in the days leading up to the super committees failure, secretary panetta ratcheted up the rhetoric about what this would mean for defense. you know and as i showed you using his numbers the way he was doing his math, he was effectively showing the worst case of the worst case scenario. the worst cuts implemented in the worst way possible. the problem now is if you want the threat of sequestration to be a real credible threat that forces congress to come up with other offsetting deficit reduction, then you know if you hyped the threat to hide it actually becomes a non--- non-credible threat. so i think the problem here is that they may have said the threat is so high that credibility of sequestration going into effect has been
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reduced so the members of congress may not take the threat of veto is seriously as they would have otherwise. >> he had set the bar so high. >> i think it does run the risk of undercutting the veto threat because if the administration itself has said the cuts would be catastrophic, doomsday bullet to the brain, that is the kind of language he has used. if that is true how could they ever let them go into effect? >> you said there is some ability to change, to switch around honey within the department. is very simple there a simple way or is it possible to where money could be changed from some function to keep up acquisition or some of these important functions and allow for backfilling by congress of other stuff to reserve or appropriations you know, trips delayed appropriations or
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something like that? >> the way they sequester mechanism works is whatever budget is enacted by congress at the start of fy13, by the time you hit january 2 of 2013, whatever budget they have a enacted if it is above the cap, the 472 billion-dollar cap the sequestration would automatically cut all accounts, all programs and activities by uniform percentage to make the budget fit below the cap. so if you want to allocate the cuts are so rather than accepting uniform across-the-board cuts then you should propose to congress and enacted budget that fits below the caps. as long as you are below the caps, you can allocate the money however you wish within the defense budget. the other thing i would point out here is war funding is not subject to the budget caps so that is not part of the numbers i have shown you here. more funding is exempt. what that means is that dod and
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congress can move items from the base defense budget into the war budget and effectively gets around the cap. they are already started to do this. if you look at the senate appropriators mark on the defense bill, they explicitly move $10 billion from the base budget to the war budget and that effectively gets around the cap. i would expect we would see that continuing in the future. in terms of how much they can do that, the only limit is how much congress is willing to tolerate. >> i wanted to go back to the earlier point, because you mentioned earlier that the pentagon could submit a budget in 2013 that is larger that does not fit under the cap. but given the veto threat, you know and isn't obama out on a limb here and doesn't have to abide by the law? >> he can submit whatever budget he would like for a boy 13. the threat of sequestration it seems would be much more credible if they actually
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submitted a budget that fit within the sequestration cap. that would show people exactly what the impacts would be. you don't have to exaggerate it. you don't have to talk about it in general terms. you can show them the actual budget, what programs would be effective, how dod would allocate those cuts and i think i would send a powerful message. at this point though i don't think it is likely they will do that. we are late in the budget bill process. dod has been working on this budget for over year. they have already had to revise it a couple of times and i think it's unlikely that they would go back at the last minute and try to revise it under the sequestration caps. the other alternative is they could submit the budget in february. here's the fy13 budget and then say we will submit a budget amendment in the coming weeks or months that would show you how we would trim it under sequestration. >> if you want to reserve
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america's warfighting capabilities, where do you cut? deep cut on the personnel side or the budget side and do you have to pace it? >> yeah i think you have to do a little of both. if you want to preserve warfighting capabilities to the maximum extent possible i think you would cut on the personnel side probably starting in benefits. i think politically, that would need unpalatable. and there might be long-term consequences in terms of recruiting and retention. you can also cut the number of dod civilian employees. right now dod employs over 700,000 civilians. we are not talking contractors, but actual government civilian employees. that cost defense department about $70 billion a year in their budget so a 10% cut as an example would free up $70 billion a year. that gets you pretty far along
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to what we are talking about here. there are consequences with all of these things so i think you have to take a balanced approach to this, and inevitably there would be some pretty significant cuts on the acquisition side. >> can you explain, to what detailed level the sequestration go down? i mean, if sequestration happens and your submitted budget is 85% greater than the sequestration budget, is that the sort of department top line that has to be reduced and is the department flexible within that topline? >> if you submit a budget that is 5% above the cap, and that actually gets enacted by congress at 5% above the cap then when sequestration kicks in the cuts everything, every account within them budget down
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to the account level by 5%. the exception is you can exempt military personnel accounts and that means everything else would have to be cut on the order of seven, 7.5%. >> is for example the operation or the procurement or the research and development -- see it would stop at the owen m. level for that account and for other accounts like acquisition would go all the way down to specific programs and line items so they would all individually be cut by the uniform percentage, which of course would the messy. it would be an efficient. it would be terribly disruptive to planning, especially if secretary panetta rightly pointed out, if you are planning on buying to virginia class attack submarines and in the next year and your budget gets cut by do know 20% or so, you can't lie a fraction of the
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submarine. you can't buy 80% of the other unless congress can actually give you special permission to extend money over years but in a lot of cases it's just not feasible. so that is where gets to be incredibly disruptive. i guess my argument is why would you ever go into sequestration with a budget that exceeds the cap? you should reduce it yourself so you can target the cuts so they -- so you can control it, so you can target cuts at lower priority areas and maintain funding for the really critical things that you can't afford to cut. >> to two things. one, acquisition in terms of cuts, if you terminate programs, it's not cost free. there is almost always substantial termination penalties. you have to pay off the contract. how does factor in? and the other one is, if sequestration goes into effect,
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about nine years, what is does the dod base budget look like? below inflation would either be real percentage cuts are basically flat. >> the first question, termination liability, that's a big unknown because in many cases, that is something that has to be negotiated between the government and the contractor once the government moves to terminate a contract so he can't know in advance exactly what your cost would be. it is safe to say the contractors aren't going to end up losing money on this. they will be protected in terms of legally in terms of money they have already committed and things they have spent on programs in terms of building out factory space, buying parts in advance, everything the government is authorizing them to do. the government comes back and cancels the program they at least get reimbursed for what they have already spent.
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but yes it is a big unknown how much that would actually cost dod especially when you consider programs that are ramping up right now, companies are going out and hiring people so they hire people and send them through training. they kill the program and they have to let those people go so all the money they have invested in, they have lost it. so i think that is an issue for the department. that is one reason they may try to trim programs rather than kill them all together or delay the start of the programs, especially delaying the start of the program where you don't have a built-in set of constituents spread across the congressional districts in the country. it makes it politically easier to delay the start of a program. >> that would cost money down the line. >> it very much for cost more money down the line. if you take the example of the virginia tech submarines, it's more seth -- efficient to produce them at that rate. you have cost savings when you
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buy them into per year on the unit cost basis. you go back to buying one per year or unit cost will go back up so in the long run if you still buy the same number of subs in the end, it will cost us more rather than buying two at a time. what was the second part of your question pope? >> if sequestration goes into effect nine years down the line, what is the state of the dod budget? would have been flat throughout? >> so i will go back up to the chart here where i show that. under the bottom line there shows the sequestration. the way the cuts have to be divided equally across the years, that means that the budget, the defense budget would drop sharply and remain roughly flat and actually grow a little bit above inflation over time. that was already built-in to the baseline, so to answer your question, it would grow slightly
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over time but not by much. >> what areas do you see that being a cost savings versus personnel and how would you counter the argument that i suspect we will would make that except for unmanned air systems a lot of the systems are still in the developmental stage and it is going to cost a lot of money to bring them along to a place where they can actually replace manned vehicles? >> yes, when i looked at the paper that we published a couple of weeks ago i looked at the detail example of uav's or isr, intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance and really when you run through the cost equation it was a little surprising to me to see that the big savings actually came out of training. that for manned aircraft, you have to spend so much time training pilots in keeping them fresh that you have to buy, you
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have to buy more aircraft in order to maintain that training schedule. you end up buying almost twice as many aircraft to accommodate the training necessary to keep enough fresh pilots to do your operational missions and aircraft you use for training require maintenance. they require fuel in parts over time and they require crews of people to heed the maintainers over time. so you really added up funds for training part of the equation for you save a lot of money on uavs because training for a uav, you can -- pilots can spend a lot more time, much greater percentage of their time flying real missions because they don't have to be deployed overseas to do that. they can do that in their home base in many cases and simulator training on uavs as much better, much more comparable to the actual flight environment. when you have pilots in the plane they can only do so much. they have to get out there and planes at some point.
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with that said the technology is not all there for uav's to replace the type of mission not a longshot but we are moving in that direction and i think that is something the department should embrace to save money. >> yesterday after the announcement of the supercommittee some analysts were pointing out that the market has not yet finance the defense industry in a severe way so i was wondering what your take is. do you see that is assigned that the market -- the sequestration is not going to happen or the industry can absorb these costs? >> i'm not an expert on the markets but i think there is a fair amount of doubt out there that sequestration will actually go into effect. i share that doubt. i think in the end, at the end of the day in the lame-duck session of congress that they will find a way, at least to delay the implementation of the
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sequestered level cuts. so i think that may be reflected in how people are valuing these companies but again i'm not a market analyst and i can't say for sure. >> and they observe the cuts if it came to sequestration? >> can they absorb it? sure. they will find a way. will it be painful? will it be disruptive? we may see second the, third tier -- they may merge with larger companies. some of them may even close their doors. in terms of the major crimes, we have essentially five main defense contractors now. at the prime level we have seen a significant amount of consolidation over the past 20 years. i don't think they see further consolidation among the primes but i think we could see them downsizing a bit. is going to take a bit for industry to adjust to this because we are going on 12, 13
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years of growing defense budgets and just as it is hard for the pentagon to adjust to the budget climate, culturally, to adjust to it i think it's a challenge for industry as well. by people i've talked to in the industry, they see the writing on the wall. they know whether sequestration is allowed to go into effect or are not that the budget is coming down and it will have an impact on the industry. as you see them taking steps as they prepare for this. >> choosing between cuts mandated by the budget control act in the sequestration, my impression is many of the things you are talking about as ways to fulfill the sequestration are already being discussed his ways of accommodating roughly $450 billion supposedly cut under the dca.
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can you clarify that? >> they are already looking at a lot of these things. to accomplish the initial cuts to get you to the purple line here on the chart, the initial cuts under the budget control act. i think they're going to have to go further under sequestration and they may have to get into things that they wanted to avoid or move up the timeline for when they were going to cut things. you know, if you like looking at dod civilian personnel, they may actually have to start cutting people sooner. i think they are likely to trim the civilian workforce even under the initial cuts. in terms of military personnel they may have to start drawing down end strength sooner than they plan. they were already talking about cutting down the size of the army and marine corps but those cuts would be based it -- phased in over time perhaps not starting until fy14, 15 or 16. that might be moved up. the counterveiling thing though is they do have this outlet of the war budget so wherever
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possible, i think we will see the department and see congress as well, trying to move some of these costs into the war budget to soften the blow and basically dampen the -- of fy13. is a lot of the same things they were already planning to do. they will just have to do them sinner and do more of them was sequestration. >> yeah, todd. the pentagon plans for everything. the plans for war with iran, plans for -- with canada. politically, does the pentagon's refusal to plan for sequestration makes sense and is it budget does it make sense? [laughter] >> no, i fully take the point and i agree dod plans for all number of contingencies. i haven't seen it canada plan yet. that would be interesting.
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keep quiet on that plan. realistically yeah, this is a contingency. it seems only prudent that dod should be preparing for. to date every indication is even behind closed doors they are not planning for the sequestered level of cuts. that is a bit concerning, and perhaps that will change in the coming weeks and months as this is a real possibility. they should be planning for this. they should be developing budget options that they could implement, that they could rollout quickly to get ahead of the curve. the last thing you want to have happen is the worst case scenario here is you go into january second, 2013, talks break down. they aren't able to induce sequestration and these automatic across-the-board cuts take effect. ..
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>> i assume it came from the top. >> -- strategy driven it comes with automatic cuts. is it possible to implement what strategy they want to do with
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such cuts? >> when it comes to strategy your budget ultimately does contain your strategy and constrained i should say. you don't want to try to implement a strategy that you can't afford with the resources that you're given because you will stretch yourself too thin and won't be able to do effectively and will take risks across all the areas. as we have said many times here at cspa, you should adjust your strategy to the new budget environment reality that we face. we have to wait and see what comes out next month in the comprehensive strategic review. whether the to take a fundamental rethinking of the american strategy and how we engage in the world and their missions that the dod is expected to perform or is it more or less each week on the current strategy? i think that's something we should be looking for when the
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report comes out. >> touching on the discussions it seems we hear cuts resulting from this area and of course it all depends on the baseline that you use to measure those. can you give an idea what the difference is when you start versus say where the caps are verses sequestration, what is the magnitude of the difference subscribing the cuts. >> fy 13, that's what matters in the next budget year. what they had planned in the past was 571 billion the was the budget they planned. under the initial cap in the budget control act, not sequestration but the initial caps in place that would drop the budget and fy 13 to about 525 billion because there is some possibility for the congress and other accounts outside of the dod to share more of the cuts but not a lot of the
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flexibility. the 525 billion that is roughly what they are planning for a the fy 13 budget that they are working on now. under the sequestration, the budget would drop to about 472 billion. relative to what they are already planning to it is a little over 50 billion kutz. relative to what they had planned for in the past for fy 13 it is $99 billion, close to $100 billion. so, a lot of this is about what they find to be used for comparison. you know, when you hear numbers floated out there, the dod pretty consistently uses the higher baseline level with a previously planned to grow the defense budget to over the coming years that makes the cuts larger when you hear people talk about on the baseline over the next ten years the initial cuts on the budget control act just the initial cut is about four
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entered 50 billion relative to the previous plan level of funding relative to the cbo baseline they are about 330 billion. it's it's a big difference depending which baseline you use so then you add to that roughly $500 billion of additional cuts over the next ten years in sequestration and you get anywhere from 830 billion to close to a trillion dollars in cuts. but it all depends what baseline you are using. >> any feeling for what of the services might hit harder under the sequestration based on whether they decide to cut acquisition personnel. >> how the cuts might fall on the services differently you would be wise to place your bets on the surface share of the
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budgets remaining mostly equal, but if they do shift strategy and target kutz accordingly, if that's the case i think it is likely the ground forces would be cut more in the sea forces. simply because if you look at the future threats they're planning for the future it's not going to be ground heavy. we've invested a fair amount over the past decade a lot of it through war funding with the sickly schley is now to carry out major stabilization campaigns to major ground campaigns of the same time. are we going to need that capability in the future? are we going to get into another operation like iraq or afghanistan any time soon if you are willing to prioritize he would say that is a lower risk in the future and so we can
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scale back or capability there. we could see the dod come out and say instead of being prepared for the major crown of war brothers simultaneously we will only be prepared for one were one and a half or reduce the amount of overlap in the conflicts. that's one of option as the result in the deeper cuts in the army in strength as well. >> they've had more expensive toys. >> they are more capital-intensive generally speaking. they have the largest and most extensive platforms aircraft carriers, some expensive aircraft looking at buying in the future. so yes, it's very capital intensive at an affordable price.
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>> operating on the oldest fleet of rick healey programs with obama or the tanker haoles sequestration going to affect its ability to modernize the legacy programs to reduce to make it's true the air force if you look at the average age of aircraft on the inventory it's getting older by the day. we are not replacing aircraft as they are aging and is the oldest it's been in the history of the air force. some of the oldest planes we are flying are the kc-135 tankers which are due to be replaced over the next decade. i actually lookout in the 2020 s and that is where i see a problem for the air force procurement program. we are supposed to be body in the tanker's full rate production in the 2020 s and supposed to be buying the joint strike fighter and the next generation bomber at the full rate production and overall supposed to be replacing the
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trainers and the body and then the production. all of those things coming on line at the same time in the 2020. i don't think the air force aircraft but it can handle all of those things at the same time. i don't think there will be sufficient funding so we are likely to see the programs get trimmed back or delete to try to stagger the costs in the future years. there are things you can do to mitigate that. the aircraft, some of the new ones we are buying now are far more capable than the previous generation if you look at the f-22, the half 35 the capabilities are far greater and the weapons we put on them for the guided munitions are getting better and better over time. the uav is another example. they are taking the place of filling a role that manned aircraft had previously filled at a lower cost and i think will maintain were continue that in the future although we may need to shift our investment in the
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type that we are buying to the creditors we've been watching over the past decade. as i mentioned before they are completely vulnerable to attack so you cannot fly them what their air defenses you can only use them where we have already owned the aerospace and establish superiority so we have to shift in the future to buy more stealthy higher in uav to operate and dni environment. that will cost more but still there's a cost savings relative to the equivalent of these aircraft. bottomline i think the air force is going to have a budget crunch when we or the other. this was going to happen regardless of sequestration will make it more acute so they will have to make some tough choices over the coming years about how the one to place their bets and what they want to invest in. the new storage programs just won't start? >> i think there's a risk of the
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new start programs don't start immediately to the degette delete or the development gets stretched out over a longer period of time i think there is a real risk that that will happen in the coming years. >> one technical and won broad. have you done projections to show what defense spending would be say and 20 or 21 as a share of gdp as a share of possible budget? second question do these cuts really make us more vulnerable? >> in terms of the percent of the share of the economy and federal budget under sequestration would drop below 3% of gdp by the end of the decade and as a share of the economy that would be near the lowest level it's been in quite
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a while i think when we've been to that level any time in modern american history. so the question is is that sufficient, is that enough for defense? depends on what you're asking your department of defense to do. basically since the end of the cold war we've had a grand strategy to was one of global privacy. so what does colin to a question whether or not we could continue to afford that grand strategy in the future and whether or not we will have to adopt it to the budget constraints we are facing. we could instead as we are trying to focus on all regions of the world at the same time we could start prioritizing or prioritize more than we have in the past. the obama administration has made it clear that asia and the western pacific region is rising in priority for the department of defense with the announced deployment of marines to australia and other talks that we've been in with countries
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like vietnam. so if we are making that a higher priority what would be a lesser priority? it could be that europe becomes a lower strategic priority for us. there are a lot of options for how you can do this. and the worst case if you do not prioritize or have a strategy that is constrained by resources, then you run the risk of breaking the force and accepting high level of risk across the board. if you adjust your strategy according to your resource constraint it's certainly conceivable we could maintain national security and maintain our core interests are around the world including support of our allies and partners and access to key regions of the little important to us like the middle east we could do that with a lower budget but it would mean we've had to make other areas of the world and other
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missions pretty willing to exit a risk and other areas. >> [inaudible] bringing acquisition down by -- >> 21%. >> how much has acquisition -- you have an idea can we put together an idea how much acquisition the last ten or 15 years has been inflated over plans by underestimates and overruns. it's been a significant issue especially the past decade, but quite honestly we looked at this and the recent report on the industrial base cost overruns and schedule slips in the acquisition program are nothing new. it has been a regular part of the dod acquisition since the establishment of the permanent defense industrial base in the 1950's after the korean war to
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read so it is nothing new. it has been a big issue will for the past decade though that by my calculations they had a dozen major defense acquisition programs canceled while still in development these were things like the presidential helicopter, transformation come future combat systems for the army, a dozen of these programs are canceled over the last decade while they are in development we never saw a single item field of and if you took all the monthly cost about $50 billion. there was the cost in these programs. we clearly can't afford to keep doing that over the next decade. there are good reasons each of these programs was canceled and in many cases the problem we have is we don't do a good job of estimating cost at the beginning of the program. we are a bit to met optimistic and the cost we think we can achieve, and as a result you see in some cases massive cost
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overruns on the programs. there has been a concerted effort within the department, within the office of the acquisition technology and logistics to do a better job of cost estimating that front on the programs so there we go into them with our eyes open knowing what we are getting into with the realistic expectation of what it's going to cost and what we can afford so we can scale back requirements accordingly. it would be years ago before we actually can tell if these efforts are going to be beneficial, if they are going to produce results. one of the initial effects we've seen is that as part of the 2009 acquisition reform act passed by congress it mandated strict controls on how they do cost estimating they did go back and we estimate the cost of a lot of programs and we immediately saw a number of the breaches deutsch of the cost overruns. i think that is a good sign that
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means we've gotten a little better control of what those costs will be and we can plan accordingly. but to let it know if we are doing a better job of estimating costs now ask me in ten years. that's when we will know if it actually improved what we are doing. >> solving this problem the last 40 years to the estimate this is coming you know, an issue i don't think there's a silver bullet here. it's going to take a lot of hard work for the cost estimators to actually do this and in conjunction with this you have to have better requirement discipline within the services and the joint requirements oversight council. you've got to constrain your requirement to what you can afford. the first step of that is understanding what it's going to cost you say you can actually make an informed decision but at the end of the day once you know what it's going to cost, you've
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got to actually be willing to scale back your requirements to trade off the systems to accept something less in order to keep it affordable. >> if the trend in congress continues and they can't agree on a budget? >> if they can't agree fy 13 will start october 1st 2012 and sequestration goes into effect on general orie second, 2013 so three months into the fiscal year presumably if they don't agree to the budget by the time of the start of the fiscal year which almost never happens in the way we will be on a continuing resolution, a continuing resolution generally find everything at the same level funded in the previous year. if that is the case we will go into sequestration with a budget and the fact picked the same as fy 12 which revealed the budget
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would be roughly 526 billion or so, so not that much different than what they were already planning for so that's what we are going to sequestration with and would cut based on that level of funding. disconnect sending a budget to execute turkey this year. [laughter] chop its head off right there in front of the camera it could be a really strong signal. >> trim the fat, that's what he should do. >> you could try to as much possible into the war funding. what is to stop them? what hurdles what they have to deal with to put everything in there and say let's just put it in that pocket. >> of the limit is what congress
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would tolerate. so you still have to get it passed to build houses and then signed by the president and there obviously is going to be public scrutiny of this i will write about what they moved from the base budget so people know what's going on here and have a realistic understanding of what's taking place. it's just a political limit of how much people are willing to tolerate. you know, looking at the charge here i think the sharp drop that we see is not a smart way to bring down the defense spending. you can bring it down and bring it down and smart ways. and dropping it suddenly, roughly 11% in one year is not a good way to do it. you introduce inefficiencies that cost more in the long run and can hurt your capability in the short term. so if they can't override sequestration and the use the loophole if you will of moving
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things and the budget if they use that in the short term to move this out that may not be such a bad thing both for the long-term budget and the short-term national security needs so there are options that this could play out at the bottom line here is we are going to be debating this and discussing this for the next year. we will be here thanksgiving and christmas time next year and they might be getting around to acting on it and maybe if we are lucky they will believe it a few more months so we can have more of these discussions over that time period. i think we've been going for well over an hour now. without any other questions thank you all for coming and have a happy thanksgiving.
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[inaudible conversations] general wesley clark on this morning's washington journal. this is 45 minutes.rnal" >> on the screen is general clark with us the next 45 minutes, and we are going to we wiltalk our policy. our impetus will be from last night's gmp candidacy. thanks for being with us.presidn it's a complicated world these when you look at stories in the newspapersthe protests in egypt to precious to do something about iran, to pakistan and the resignation of the u.s. ambassador here -- if there is a place that worries you the most, what would that be? guest: for the united states, i
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think the president has done a brilliant job of managing our way through most of these challenges. when he took office, we had two active wars and a significant terrorist threat. we have gotten rid of osama bin laden and made their high command is essentially irrelevant. we're coming out of iraq and have our combat troops out of there. following president bush's plans at the end of this year. we intensified our activities in afghanistan. we had some operational results and we are on a draw down there. i think he has worked his way through this pretty well. we need to look long term for the united states and strengthen our economy, focus on our competitiveness, and bring jobs and prosperity back to america. ultimately america's strength and influence in the world rest more on our economy than it actually does on the men and women in uniform.
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host: analyst will say that a number of policy areas, he has been criticized to continue the bush administration policies. if you believe that the says, i am wondering how different things would be under a republican administration? is there a unified foreign policy right now among both parties or to use a real difference? guest: a great question. the president clearly enunciated what he was going to do during the campaign. it was not always what president bush did, but he said that he would put the emphasis on al qaeda and afghanistan. that is precisely what he did. he has been a very strong president on national security. the majority of the american people support the president on national security. it has been very hard for the republican candidates to do with that. the conventional way that these debates are supposed to go is
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that democrats are soft and republicans are tough and democrats want to coddle the enemy and republicans will be stronger and more decisive. but president obama is not playing that role. he has been very tough and decisive. he put our troops in to go after osama bin laden. he took them out. it is tough for the republicans to get to the right of the president on nafta security. host: here is one photograph. from the cnn debate last night company talking about newt gingrich's rise. we will show a number of clips. here is one from herman cain. it regards iran and the u.s. and israel. >> i would first make sure that they had a credible plan for success. clarity of mission and clarity
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of success. remember, when you talk about attacking iran, it is a very mountainous region. the latest reports say that that -- there may be 40 different locations. i would want to make sure that we had a good idea from intelligence sources were these are located. and it israel had a credible plan that appeared as if they could succeed, i would support israel, yes. and in some instances, depending on how strong the plan is, we would join with israel for that, if it was clear what the mission was and what the definition of victory was. host: general clark, there were other conversations about iran including this headline from the newspaper. regime change is being raised on the front of the "washington post" today. it will be the only thing that
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stops the nuclear program. with that backdrop, the debate commentary and other voices calling for regime change, talk to us about iran and the challenges to u.s. foreign policy there. guest: the president has followed a very logical approach on this. he has some grip on what is happening inside iran because of the intelligence services, although you do not know everything. but it is clear that he has proceeded first by giving iran an opportunity for dialogue. they have rejected that. some other measures must of been taken, although it is the nature of covert action that you never acknowledge these. we know that there is enrichment of uranium, and there is some kind of cyber weapon still moving around inside there. we do not know much about this and we do not know where it came
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from or anything of the sort. so some strong measures are under way. at the same time, he worked with our allies to get the toughest sanctions ever on iran. at the time that president obama came into office, you would have said that iran was gaining power in the region. today, nobody believes that. everyone understands that iran is losing power in the region and struggling to maintain its influence. i think he has had an effective policies of corporate the question is -- how far does it go? he is ratcheting it up step by step. as i listen to the debate last night, i thought that the president should feel comfortable that is republican competitors would be behind them on whatever tougher measures he had to take. host: here is a question from a twitter viewer.
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guest: when i looked at the sanctions in iraq, i did not see them result the same way. but there are sanctions on iraq -- are wrong, sorry, and they will be tougher. that is necessary to get the attention of the iranian government. without needing war to give them -- to make them give up on nuclear aspirations. host: the professor iranian studies is calling for western air strikes to target the military and paramilitary forces, to cripple the machinery of domestic repression. let me ask you -- if israel were to take this kind of action, either with overt or covert action, help from the united states, what would that mean for the region? guest: are many elements that
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are concerned about their nuclear weapons aspirations. you would get a lot support under the table. i think there would be a lot of open condemnation of israel. i think the markets would react with a sudden jump in the price of oil. but there has always been a military option out there. we have known it, we have not wanted to take it, no one wants to see another conflict in the region. but the iranian leader should understand that there is a military option out there. and susan, as i have gone back to the record of u.s. actions in the post-cold war period, time and again our adversaries did not believe it could happen to them. when we went into panama, noriega did not believe that we would do it. when we started the bombing in kosovo in 1999, most of its did not believe that the un would hang together and do it. i'm sure that saddam hussein did
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not believe that the united states was really coming for him. i can only imagine the surprise that osama bin laden must have felt when we went and got him. host: we are opening and up -- opening up the phone lines and you can also send this message through twitter, fax, or e-mail. that is a lot of technology. send us an e-mail this morning. you can be involved in our conversation with general clark. let's get another debate click on the screen. this is governor romney and governor hunt's man on afghanistan. >> we have 100,000 troops nation-building in afghanistan when this nation needs to be built, we need intelligence gathering, no doubt about that. we need a drone presence and some ongoing training of the afghan national army. but we have not done a good job confining and articulating what
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the endpoint is in afghanistan. i think the american people are tired about where we find >> let me respond are you suggesting that we take our troops out next week? >> i said we should draw a dog. we do not need 100,000 troops. we need a presence on the ground that is more akin to 10,000 or 15,000. that will serve our interests in attention -- intelligence gathering. host: general clark, your thoughts on that exchange? guest: that is exactly the kind of discussions that go on inside the united states government as people try to get the balance right. it was a recent exchange. the president is pulling troops out of afghanistan.
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the goal is to do it in a way to protect the security of afghanistan while we trained forces there. if you poll the forces out too soon, security crumbles. if you wait too long, you override the sovereignty of afghanistan. it seems to me we have done it right. you have contenders' looking to draw a difference with the president. host: let me add another thing from the world bank -- afghanistan to need aid for years. here's a report in all called the washington post" -- -- "the washington post" --
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host: will there be tolerance by the american public for that level of continued financial commitment to afghanistan and should there be? guest: when you look at something like this you realize there is a lot involved in stabilizing a country and prevent from becoming a haven for future terrorists. we have to help the government of the afghanistan put in place economic policies that will promote the government,
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governmental services and taxation that will support the government, and there will be no need for continuing support. this will be a task that falls on future american leadership, but you cannot do this without building economic strength in the region, and working to put states together to stabilize afghanistan. it is in the interest of every neighboring country. i think what you will see is a lot more diplomatic activity in that regard. >> this is from twitter. -- host: this is from twitter -- guest: i am not privy to the consultation process. i can assure you that this plan
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would not have been put in place without consultation with the united states central command, the foreign chiefs of staff, the army, the air force, the marines, and the commanders on the ground in afghanistan. of course the president listens to these commanders, but ultimately the president makes the decision not based on only of what the commanders say, but on overriding national interest. there is usually some trade-off. the commanders typically asks for more than you are going to get. i have been there. host: let's take a call from boston. dog, a democrat. caller: i would like to remind the general then attack without a resolution is a war crime. people were harmed in nuremberg
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for that kind of behavior. -- hung in nuremberg for that kind of behavior. guest: there is a legal case against iran for violating the appearance of the nuclear non- proliferation treaty early on, and the subsequent deception of the atomic agency inspection. when the time comes for action, i'm sure the united states will have legal arguments in order. i think it would be wrong to let the iranian regime believe there is no military option out there when there is. a record has shown time and again that rogue nations and nations that try to break the rules in international behavior, their leadership believes that they are superior to the international community, international law, and to the
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last resort, force. it is unfortunate when they believe this because they put their own people through hardship. i hope the iranian leadership understands listening to the debate last night and looking at the president's policy that they will not be permitted to acquire nuclear weapons. host: from aaa, the associated press is reporting -- tripoli, the associated press is reporting -- guest: is that the right disposition for his alleged breach host: -- host: is at the right decision for his crime? guest: i think it is. these crimes were primarily
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against the people of libya. i think was a solid decision. host: next is a call from grosse pointe, mich., john, a republican. caller: regarding iran, this worries me. i am not sure what our policy is in the middle east anymore. i wonder, can you see a day in the near future, the next five years, where we will have a very minimal involvement in that region, or we do not even have significant forces in kuwait standing by, waiting for something to happen? i do not understand, even if these people in iran, the
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government, is able to obtain a single weapon, and that missile was to lift off the earth, how long would it be before it would take off? if it were to hit somewhere, or find its way to israel, what would be the consequences, and why would they be willing to take that chance? thank you. guest: you raise important issues. much of the world's oil comes from the region known as the persian gulf. from the time the united states became an oil importing country in the 1970's's and we became aware of stability in the markets, the united states has taken measures to ensure stable access to the resources of that area for all nations in the
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world. we built the park command structure. we have been engaged there. the enormous wealth creates its own problems and has been historic animosity between the branches of islam there. there will be a lot of pushing and shoving. i think we are on the path, moving in the right direction throughout the arab spring, the gradual modernization, opening up the economy is to try to reduce the -- economies to try to reduce the requirement, and making these countries take responsibility for peace in the region. israel is connected. we've done a lot of work with the israelis. they have done a lot on their own for active missiles defense.
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the president has made clear our commitments there. this goes back to the gulf war in 1990, 1991. we used to establish patriot batteries. there are long, historic relationships. everyone is aware of the risks. that is why the president has a policy of tightening sanctions, and putting increasing pressure internationally and the iranian regime to get them to give up their nuclear weapons aspirations. host: the caller said he was not sure what our overall policy was in the region. you have supported the present. do the situational responses roll up to a world view of the united states role that you can articulate? guest: we must be engaged.
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it is our interest to help others maintain stability and excessing resources. it has been a long principle of american conduct. our actions in the middle east fall in that area. host: that is your belief, the president believes that as well? guest: i cannot speak for the president, the fed is the direction of american former policy. going back to the last days of the carter administration, we understood this. host: a call, and then we'll go back to the debate. bakersfield, california. jimbo, you are on the air. caller: general clark, you are some and i truly admire.
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i supported your -- you are someone i truly admire. i supported your presidential campaign. i want to ask you about an event that happened in coastal in the 1990's. -- coastal low in the 1990's. csovo in the 1990's. you caught wind that vigilante'' were going to murder a muslim village. you were given orders not to defend that village, you did anyway, and you paid for it with your career. it is why you -- why i supported your presidential campaign, and why i respect you so much because you put a human life over your own personal career.
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that is what i'm talking about -- real sacrifice, america. i admire you so much. tell me i have that wrong. guest: thank you for the question. there were a lot of incidents where a lot of us took risks in terms of the mandate we were given. our soldiers put their lives at risk and we did our best to stop ethnic cleansing in the region after nato had forced out the forces. all the credit belongs to the men and women on the ground, and the commanders of those divisions. at that time, rick sanchez was in charge of the ground operations. host: general clark heads a consulting firm and is also
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teaching at ucla. what course are you teaching? guest: i lecture. i am not in a classroom on a day-to-day basis. i get to talk on things like international strategy, national security, war crimes, international law, and increasingly on international economics and how the united states has to move forward in developing our economy to maintain our strength and influence in the world. host: how do you find students in terms of intellectual engagement? guest: there are terrific. they are really smart, connected students who are aware of the world around them. they asked questions. -- they ask tough questions. host: back to the debate. this is an exchange on afghanistan. >> time after time they have
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shown us they cannot be trusted. until pakistan shows they have america's best interest in mind, i would not send them one penny. i think it is important for us to send a message to those across the world that if you're not going to be an ally of the united states, do not expect a dime of our citizens money. that is the way we change foreign policy. >> with all due respect to the governor, i think that is highly nighties. we have to recognize what is happening on the ground. these are nuclear weapons. al qaeda could get ahold of these weapons. if they could find their way out of pakistan, into new york city or washington, d.c., and a nuclear weapon could be set off in the city. that is how serious this is. we have to maintain american presence. host: general clark, reaction?
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guest: there are lots of shades of gray. i am sure a lot of americans get angry when their is support from someone in pakistan for people striking our troops in afghanistan and so forth. pakistan has been an ally. there is some degree of cooperation. we have longstanding relationships. we tried 20 years ago and it helped to create some of the problems we have been dealing with in afghanistan. on balance, it is better to be engaged. the assistance there are not blank checks. we have a strong u.s. embassy came on the ground. we do a lot of work with pakistan. we do our best to shape the
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nation as it lurches into modernization. we should stay engaged. host: the latest on pakistan -- guest: there are some tough times in relations in pakistan. it is in that way for a long time. it's based back-and-forth. many of us knew the ambassador. an investor has to maintain the confidence of his government at home, do his job, and hopefully u.s.-pakistani relations will continue on a course, and there will be some reconciliation, and
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pakistan will see strong civilian rule. host: right above that in the paper is this headline -- host: this from twitter -- guest: the administration has called for him to step aside, if i recall correctly. i think his days are numbered. it might be three months, -- three weeks, nine months, or whatever. yeah shown he does not respect his own people. -- he has never shown respect to is some people. his days are numbered. host: ky. good morning. caller: first, thank you for
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your service. guest: thank you. caller: we can look at iran and iraq and afghanistan, and we can look at these as we have won , and they have been put in a government that we would find acceptable. the problem that i see, and the problem we're having right now in iran and iraq, rather, is they have a government, but they do not have a tax base. they do not have a way to support this government. we consider have a lot of oil and oil will support the government. then you put the oil in the hands of the people in power, and to trust you have an honest government. the people over there -- and you trust you have an honest government. the people over there do not want to pay taxes.
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people over here do not want to pay taxes. we have to have a way to support these governments when they overthrow these people. there has to be something ready to pick this up and take it on, and make it into a democracy, which is what we want the whole world needs a democracy -- want. the whole world needs a democracy. again, general, thank you for your service. host: thank you for the call. guest: you raise the fundamental issue -- countries that have lots of oil have lots of problems dealing with good government because the wealth does come in. it normally belongs to the state. it is a lot of money coming out
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of the ground. we have seen that the management of these funds and using it for the good of the people is a very difficult process. in iraq, there is about to be a great opening for the energy companies. while production what -- will production will -- ouil production will double or triple. a lot of that money will go back to iraq, we hope. this is all part of good governance. this has to be worked every day by men and women of character on the ground. host: here is ron paul talking about whether or not the patriot act has made us safer.
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>> i think it is unpatriotic because it undermines our liberty. timothy mcveigh was a vicious terrorist. he was arrested terrorism is a crime. -- arrested. terrorism is a crime. we dealt with it well with timothy mcveigh. we have drifted into a condition we were warned against because of our founders were clear, do not be willing to sacrifice liberty for security. today, it seems to easy that our government and our congress is so willing to give up our liberties for our security. i have a personal belief is you never have to give up liberty for security. you can still provide security without sacrificing our bill of rights. host: general clark? guest: is an important debate. i do not think any american
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wants to give up liberty for security. times change, laws change. it is the duty of governance, and ratified by the people in the electorate, that modifications be made, and evocations be made to deal with problems and threats to -- adaptations be made to deal with problems and threats. we've created a new structure that looks it the ability to monitor conversations. if you go back 100 years, you would not have seen that because there were no electronic conversations. the question is do we have the balance right? do we have the freedom, the liberty, and the sons of opportunity to communicate freely not only with loved ones, but on economic and political issues without fear of intimidation or misuse of the
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information by the government? , can we takeime tem effective security measures to prevent the kind of timothy mcveigh bombing that happened in 1995? we worked hard on it. we passed the patriot act. as an american citizen, i feel pretty good about it. i think we got it mostly right. host: hans co-, alabama. -- hunts go, alaba -- j huntsville, alabama. fred. guest: everyone associated with the military is concerned about
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budget cuts. we've been through cycle after cycle. we of have to rebuild forces time and again. i was in the pentagon, when we were struggling -- active duty, when we were struggling to get $40 billion or $50 billion a year. and remember what we're happy to get $60 billion. -- i remember when we were happy to get $60 billion. we are way above the belt. . the greatest armed forces and the world and we will continue to. you have to be careful. we are still the world's leading military power and will be into the foreseeable future. host: we took the transcript from the debate, and looked at which words got the most emphasis. here is a call from colorado.
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and independent there. caller: i have a question not eni specific issue. i'm a baby boomer. there was no ambiguity. if there were ever use of nuclear weapons we knew it could spell the end of the world. is it time for a paradigm shift techs we cannot invade every country that -- shift? we cannot invade every country that entertains the idea of nuclear weapons. should there be a new policy where if you're going to build we will ratchet up pressure, and ultimately if you use that weapon, you have spelled the end of your country? maybe if there was something that was articulated as a world
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view that the was the policy may be that would dissuade the smaller countries from wasting resources and building nuclear weapons. thank you. guest: it is an important discussion. first of all, the united states is committed in the long term to would besition that woulwe better off in a nation with no nuclear weapons. look at the benefits -- they think it gives them greater prestige, greater ability to intimidate, and some degree of deterrence against the threat of nuclear weapons deployed against them. they see an advantage in it. the stronger the international opinion against nuclear weapons on balance, the greater our
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ability to deter non-nuclear powers from becoming nuclear powers. in the case of iran, it is probably too late for that. they seem determined to go after their nuclear program. it is supported by a majority of the iranian people, but even public opinion polling the hyoscine shows it is -- polling shows a substantial majority wants to acquire weapons. this is a dynamic policy that is still unfolding. host: we are running out of time. we've not talked about china. the administration announced that there would be a presence in australia specifically as a counter balance to growing
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chinese desperations in the region. can you talk about competition that threatens security. we do have a vital economic interests in southeast asia. we want stability. we want opportunity for those nations to develop as they see fit. we want to see the distribution of resources in accordance with international law and promote optimal economic development. we want freedom of the seas and navigation. these are all important issues for the united states. we've been asked by leaders to help provide them in the region
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with a sense of security. as china grows and reaches out in its own quest for economic security, inevitably there are different views. we think it is in everyone's interests. people recognize that disputes have to be settled through diplomatic procedures rather than through intimidation. that is the focus of the u.s. forces out there. host: the last clip is newt gingrich on security on our southern border. >> i do not believe that the people of the united states are going to take people that have been here one quarter of a century, where children and grandchildren, where members of the community, who may have done
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something 25 years ago, separate them from their families, and expel them. if you have been here recently and you have no ties to the u.s., we should deport you. we should control the border. the party that says it is the party of the family, i do not see how they will destroy families that have been here one quarter of a century, and i am prepared to take the heat for saying let's be humane by enforcing the law without giving them citizenship, but creating legality so they're not separated from their families. host: states have been developing their own tougher international -- immigration standards. what are your thoughts? guest: it is a divisive issue. shouldways thought we
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get strong border protection. there are people that have been here for years and years the debt and good citizens. there should be a path -- years and they have been good citizens. there should be a path for legalization. probably the majority of american people feel this way. i would like to deal with this as a national level. apparently we cannot do it. i was surprised how extreme some of the candidates were in reaction to the former speaker. most of our grandparents came here from somewhere else. it is what is made america a wonderful place. host: brian, a republican from west virginia. caller: is it not true that
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basically the general petraeus doctrine on the insurgency was basically applied to afghanistan, and if so do you think that is flawed, and jon huntsman pretty much has it right? guest: i think we have done a lot of study on insurgency. general petraeus and his colleagues produced a good doctrine we tried to put in place in iraq and afghanistan. it is tough because it requires not only military efforts, but also strung efforts in what some people would call nation- building in dealing with the civilian side. the u.s. government has historically never had, at least not since the days of several operations, the structure and
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resources to go after the civilian side with the same intensity we are gone after the military side of the counter- insurgency equation. it is the one of the difficulties. what we are doing now seems to make sense. we are training afghan forces. we are doing as much as we can to strengthen governments at the central level and regionally. we are trying to promote economic development. it is loaded with minerals and hydrocarbons. it can be rich agricultural it. there is a lot that can be done -- agriculturally. there's a lot that can be done. we have to help the people with security so they can move forward with economic and political development. host: you helped our nex topic,
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which is the failure of the super committee. s -- guest: look, the failure of the super committee was a failure, but the cuts do not take place until january, 2013. congress has one year to rectify it. the failure itself is an ugly message abroad. we did not have to have a super committee but one was set up. people are saying why can't america work and why does the government not work? the super committee is a way of
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pushing this off with one party attempting to gain political advantage and attempting to see the agenda successful in 2012. it is a political tactic with consequences. not every country has the same budgeting categories. other countries put a lot of money into national security that does not show up in accounting. we are spending a lot of money. none of us want to see defense cuts. i hope all our government can reinvigorate economic growth. if we can grow the economy, a lot of this discussion about budget cutting will take on diminished the importance. and the eve of world war two,
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the country grew at 17%, 18%. we were coming out of the recession -- the depression. with the right way of working we can reinvigorate american growth. i hope to keep growth on
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coming up next on c-span2, a form on iran and the iranian opposition group. venda tenth anniversary of the collapse of the enron energy company. later, discussion on the defense budget cuts. >> next a discussion on the planned closure of camp ashraf and iran's net we are threat. the compound located in iraq, is home to thousands of members and supporters of the iranian opposition group, the people's mujahideen also known as mek. is scheduled to be close by the end of the year. speakers include former homeland security secretary tom ridge, harvard law professor alan dershowitz, former vermont governor in dnc chairman howard dean. this runs two hours. the moderator is former congressman patrick kennedy.
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>> now we have the honor of hearing from someone who has spoken eloquently on the subject before. if you want to know about the history of the terrorism museum it is perhaps best to listen to the man who was the first homeland security secretary for our country after 9/11. 911 tom ridge, former governor of pennsylvania, has distinguished himself in service to our natior and can speak more eloquently than on most anybody else onel whether this is a terrorist organization or whether the true terrorists are the people who are terrorizing the people of camp ashraf.a governor tom ridge.p [applause] >> thank you. first call, thank you very much for that warm and gracious
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greeting. thank you very much. i don't know who's responsible for the cameras in the back, but i'm going to make a simple request of one of two or all of you when you get done filming all of this send a copy over to the white house and to the department state, it might help them better understand what we are all about today. [applause] i would appreciate very much. >> it has been a great honor and privilege to be associated with many of my colleagues to all of those who gather and frankly have gathered and continue to gather in many places around the world this is significant, and around the world we gather from time to time to beg and plead what ever is necessary to make sure that of the human rights, the lives of the men and women, the residents of the camp to
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protect it that they would be ultimately free to enjoy the freedom and the dignity and the opportunity so consistent with not only their ambitions but the tradition of a great culture and a great country. it's become very personal to me i spent a lot of time looking over the shoulders of mothers have shown me pictures of husbands and sons and daughters that have been killed in iran or tragically the two versions from the maliki government in to camp ashraf. they've received many letters of thanks and deserving letters of course things because i've tried so many of my colleagues and the delisting of the pmi and return to safety and freedom in the residence of camp ashraf. it's become very personal to me. i have on my desk in my office
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the first volume called fallen for freedom, 20,000, 20,000 pmi murders. so the opportunity that has been afforded me this morning i thought i would just share with you through a couple of different prisons my strong support of you and your family come extended family you care about and love at camp ashraf. the first is through the prism of a way that is not personal tall if you think about it. it's cold, it's calculating, it's probably as in personal as you can get. but there's an exhibition in that part of the world that speaks to that and says the enemy of my enemy is my friend.
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iran is the enemy not of the united states but the modern civilized world so if you are an enemy of iran, you must be considered a friend of the western world and certainly a friend of the united states. yet we don't quite seem to understand that. so, with the hope you will send the documentary to the white house and the department of state let's run through the lessons we've learned of the past couple of years with regard to iran. they are, have been and continue to be the number one terrorist state in the world. if you are looking for this instability in lebanon particularly southern lebanon and hesla you can chase the line back to iran if you are looking for the instability in israel, the west bank, hamas might work. the bottom line goes right back to iran. if you're looking for individuals in the country
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responsible for killing american soldiers in iraq and afghanistan , the line goes back to iran. it is an absolutely amazing to me that after perhaps a well intentioned, perhaps appropriated but 97 several administrations ago of harvey mek as a terrorist organization we look at the history as what transpired thinking that may have improved diplomatic relations and open the door a little but to reconciliation to change. so, if this effort has led to the international atomic energy report concluded it has shown
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sanctions haven't stopped iran from maintaining a secret well structured nuclear weapons program since 2004 from establishing eye quote a hidden weapons program disguised with social programs the nuclear arms capability than they have ever been, they continue to killian are responsible for the death of american soldiers, continue at the heart of the instability death in the middle east and continue to be the number one terrorist state and all we've asked this administration to do and frankly the previous administration failed to do this as well is delist the mek, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. the second prez on i think that
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we should and can look at the challenges confronting us is to do with iraq. many of you know i was a soldier in a different war in a different place and a different time. there's a wall that has 50,000 names and over 50,000 gold star mothers and goldstar dad's. we have at least 4400 who serve their country, have lost their lives in iraq. we had thousands and thousands more coming home with a visible and invisible wounds we spend half a trillion to a trillion dollars with the hope of the aspiration, with the goal that once we rid ourselves is what these qassam hussain the emerging leadership in its own unique way consistent with their culture but in its own unique way embrace the notion of
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self-government, human rights, tolerance, free-speech, all of those values associated with the american brand. think about that sacrifice. and think about the notion that having made that sacrifice of both blood and treasure we elevate to leadership a group of individuals in the maliki administration that turned a deaf ear to the european union, european parliament, hundreds of european legislatures who have denied or rather yet unwilling to accept the ad adjudication of the european union and the u.k. that they are not a terrorist organization. have repeatedly used and i am glad that my friend, patrick kennedy brought it up continue to use this is the irony, the tragic irony, continue to use
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americans, our designation of the mek as justification for murder and innocent men and women on two occasions and 09 and in 11. fascinating. in the hopes you are going to send this tape over to the white house and the department of state they are going to look at the letter the government sends. to the european commission. in this very letter at the top organization has already been classified by the international community as a terrorist organization. there's only one reason it's there. we held this government put it there. such a certain extent i will defer to my id distinguished colleagues on the diocese it
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seems to me there might be the conspiracy here and intended perhaps it does look like we're inclusion and as long as we continue to designated as a terrorist organization they can send these documents around a little just to find a gradual rise and explain the murder of innocent people on the two locations in camp ashraf. i had the occasion to be talking to the u.n. high commissioner for refugees about two weeks ago , expressed grave disappointment and frustration in the maliki government, but i'm going to get this through the third lens expressed frustration, perhaps even
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surprise with the united states to act because the continue designation has frustrated their limited efforts because they know even if the excess ins for the iraqi government has denied them access we pointed out today if patrick kennedy pointed out to you even today martin was told you've got to move by the iraqi government you must move these men and women to another location in iraq beginning to wonder why we are so docile, why we are so submissive, why we are of lives and that's far more important of the treasure but significant treasury to tell us what to do with consistent to our broader obligation to support humanitarian human rights and to keep our promise which we gave individuals to
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every member of the camp ashraf when we also guarantee them under the geneva convention that is the other interesting piece of revelation over the past several days not only is the iraqi government say they are not going to continue to do and treat them as a terrorist organization that they are not protected by the geneva convention, a rather remarkable statement for someone who wants to be accepted in the broader world community. it's remarkable be influenced that the iranian government seems to have in iraq. let's remind ourselves ladies and gentlemen that the maliki government didn't win an overwhelming victory and yet to form a coalition government, and we all know who he turned to in order to form a coalition the same individual our military and
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social forces had sought when he was leading the militias of all solder to of course when he left iraq of peace and comfort and support in iran. only to bring himself back, but he brought a disproportionate amount of influence back. every single day when i was privileged to serve my country and the president as the first few assistance to the president homeland security and secretary of homeland security we called it a threat matrix. sometimes a was a couple dozen pages long, and to a variety of those of the agencies to get intelligence from a variety of different sources the list of threats against the united states of course you don't take them all seriously. many of them are not credible but you look at them, some more serious come samore acted upon and we waited to see if something would happen and if we could get more information and
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some were discounted but the bottom line in my time both in the white house and as the first secretary for the department of homeland security not one single time that i ever see a threat directed to the united states and any resident of for a supporter of the mek but we for whatever reason for whatever reason continue. so i've got an idea, i've got an idea. maliki is coming to this country on december 12th and i really hope this tickets to the white house this the department issues visas and the department of
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homeland security, although the visa has been issued, has the right to deny you access in this country and it's an interesting position one issues the visa and the other opens the door and lets you in. i've got an idea. a cyclical conditions before we open the door how about delisting the m ek? [applause] i appreciate that, but there's a lot more. we are going to the list and insist they cooperate with the commission on refugees. we are going to insist that the
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initial interviews take place in can't ashraf. [applause] we are going to insist the united states provide security for both the commissioner and his team as well as the residence of can't ashraf and insist the united states taking a leading role model the in the form of the united nations but with our friends around the world to see to it that these men and women by the we have given us as much information about iraq's nuclear capability than our own intelligence organization we must think about that and recognize it as well. those ought to be the conditions the list, to operate with the u.n., keep them at camp ashraf come support the men and women with blue helmets as the u.s. high commissioner and a
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leadership role in getting these men and women resettled in companies who will raise them, their families and their belief in the non-nuclear peaceful tolerant iran. [applause] one final thought. you know, there's been a lot of discussion about the term used describing president obama's leadership with regard to libya. some say it was effective means the broader humanitarian interest and building a
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coalition. of assault as supportive but you talking about the expression was the president was able to leave from behind to mr. president, this is a time you must leave from the front. [applause] he can ask any soldier and marine one of the most difficult tasks as a walking point because sometimes the individual walking point to the initial hit, they take the flak they are the ones that encountered the enemy but right now on this issue mr. president, you have to. delist mek and provide them the protection and all the rest of the world can welcome them with open arms to promote a free and independent non-nuclear iran. we need a regime change in the first place to start is to
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delist the mek. [applause] >> thank you, mr. secretary. governor, former member of the house but also veteran of the united states of america thank you for your service to the country. now i have the honor to introduce another individual who has a distinguished record not only as the chairman of the democratic national committee as a governor, as a presidential candidate, but i wanted to highlight another thing, another title that he has won and that is physician, medical doctor
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because all of those that are familiar with the service of medicine know the hipaa craddock both -- to the oath. i think it's appropriate today that he speak to us as he has eloquently on occasions before about how we take the hit the credit growth in medicine and apply it to public policy. first, let's do no harm that's not allow another assault and massacre at the camp, let's hear from a real human rights leader howard dean. [applause] >> thank you. thank you very much. patrick, tom, thank you for your long help on this issue.
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i started this in january of this year never imagining that we would be here 41 days from the exploration of the guarantee from prime minister maliki has given us. 41 days from the potential execution of the 3500 unarmed people the united states has promised to defend. 41 days. we've wasted nearly 300 days that the government of the united states of america could not get off its butt and figure out what the stood for as a country, and that is fundamentally wrong. i want to talk first about the united nations. the united nations made in my view a courageous and ionesco at met the palestinians as a member nation. for that, the lobby in the united states demand that they
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be prevented from any contributions. there's about 20% of their budget. i think the united states as an institution that is important in the world and i think it is a mistake to defund them. but yesterday the president of the united nations made the ridiculous suggestion that the people be redistributed in side of iraq and that somehow without any guarantee of protection either from the united states or the united nations they would be fined. how could i go to the congress of the united states and ask them to restore the money for the united nations if this kind toward the policy is what we get in return for the united nations and i ask the representatives in the united nations to think about what they are doing. [applause]
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we expect in return for our investment in the united nations we expect courage, and we've seen virtually none of it from the u.n. and protecting these 3500 individuals in ashraf who have written guarantees every single one of them from the united states government that we would protect them and who have been screened by the federal bureau of investigation of anti-terrorist squad and not in either of them has been found to have terrorist connections. explain to me, martin, what rationale you gave for what you have done which is essentially to sign the execution okay for 3500 unarmed civilians. that is not with the united nations is supposed to be doing. now, both representative kennedy and ridge talked about the visit of the prime minister maliki to
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occur in the white house. i understood white house visits were a status symbol something important to the people getting them a sign of recognition these were important countries with and mentioned the prime minister is under investigation by the spanish judiciary for a war crime which occurred in ashraf in april of 2011. how is it that the president of the united states is now inviting a person who is being invested in investigated for war crimes to sit in the oval office that oval office does not belong to the president of the united states it belongs to every one of those americans and we need to be proud of the people that sit in that. [applause] i don't believe we create verdicts with people before they
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get tried and the prime minister has not been tried for the war crimes but there is not any question the prime minister sent the iraqi troops into ashraf in april 11 -- of 2011 and that 46 actually 38 because two of them white leader medical care was withheld those people were murdered in cold blood by the troops that were sent by prime minister maliki. that means is that evidence turns out to be true, and i believe it is true that he will in fact be convicted in the spanish courts of the war crime i believe foot nouri al-maliki tecum the man that we enabled to be elected prime minister of iraq is a war criminal, and i believe that we do not as an american people or as an american government consort with war criminals.
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we may have to talk from time to time we should be talking about how we are going to save lives and we have an obligation to save those lives. the united states government needs to pay attention. we get reassured that they are paying attention. it is not enough to say that you are paying attention. we have 41 days left and when we started we had 341 days left. 300 days have gone by people have been paying attention. 3500 unarmed people in the desert and iraq charged told by the american people they are going to be protected in writing. we have an obligation. i understand the ambassador has said we want to be helpful but we don't have a responsibility. mr. ambassador and mr. president, we do have a
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responsibility. we gave our word and gave our riding we have a responsibility i do not want my country to become possessed in the carrying out of war crimes. as the dutch found out people who turn the other way our complicity, which brings me to the planned i don't know why it is still in the terrorist list. there are lawyers here who i don't think it should be but i'm not a lawyer, you can debate or not whether i'm smart, but i do know that there is not much evidence that i can see. no one has presented evidence to the congress, no one has presented evidence to the intelligence committees behind closed doors.
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no one has presented any evidence in the public or private as understand from members of the intelligence committee that the terrorist justification is either justified or legal so there is one explanation which is that somehow the administration believes if we keep them on the terrorist list that the law will be nice to us. first of all this is a field apart. the state department has a long history of defending their mistakes, there 15-years-old and this is another example of it. somehow in 1997 we thought they might not send them and blow up our troops and create atomic weapons subsidize terrorism in the middle east and all for the rest of the world somehow we thought if only we will designate these folks to put them on the list, maybe they will be nice. it is 14 years later i don't
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detect any of niceness and in fact we've seen the creation of our foreign policy toward the nation of iran to those who run the iran instead of the people who want to be designing the state department which is the president or the state policy, foreign policy which is the president of the state department. the glove appear to be running the foreign policy of the united states of america. now, i in this for two reasons, and in this because i think a terrible injustice is being done to people who we promised to keep safe and i believe the united states is a great nation and that we have to keep our word. but i did this for a bigger reason than that. the real reason i'm in this does not have much to do or as much to do with the mek. it has to do with the united states of america.
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this country was founded on the notion that we are raising the bar on the expectations of what human beings were all about 235 years ago. if you look at the i'm not a big fan of this american exceptional was some stuff i don't think americans are better than or asians or south americans or africans or anybody else, but i do think we are an exceptional nation because of the content of our founding documents, the declaration of independence and the constitution because those documents set forth something that had never been done at that time and there are still some things in the constitution that protect people that aren't in any other constitution of the world of the political minorities so that is in a lot of other constitutions. what that means is the united states of america has stood as a beacon for the rest of the world.
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we don't even always look to our own standards, but we have a high standard of what our obligation is to our fellow man. the reason people have even amidst our feelings admired the united states is because we were willing to expect more of ourselves as a nation. that is is what stake here. how we are willing to act on what we can expect for ourselves. i'm sure when the 41 days past if harm comes to the people of ashraf, you will get people in political places that will say well, we didn't have enough time. we started this 341 days ago at least when i got involved and you started long before that. we had enough time but we have allowed the time to trickle to our figures and it is not acceptable. mr. president, we need to act now not just for the people in ashraf, not just because we are
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to stand up and have regime change in iran, we need to act now because we are standing up for our own country when we stand up for the people in ashraf and if we fail to do that are not just the opposite in the murder of the people we promised to defend, but we are complicity and basing our own country, and i do not believe that any american president ever should be part of that. [applause] >> malae of the great honor of introducing somebody who can address not only the legal elements and the underpinnings of the situation, but the moral
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underpinnings of the situation because the professor has spent his career making sure that we stay true to the truth whether it's reflected in bill law or in our conscience that is why he has become known as the top lawyer for civil liberties and human rights and and here to֖ talk to us today is professor alan dershowitz. [applause] >> thank you, con gutzman. thank you. thank you. >> what a personal honor it is for me to be addressing you here today, not only because of the distinguished company i am in on this podium, but because all of you out there but for another very personal reason as well. mauney religious tradition as well as the islamic religious
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tradition says he who saves and a human life whether she is saved the entire world. we are here today to say they were old, and what an honor that is for all of us. [applause] now with the regime has collapsed and the syrian regime is under fire the most repressive regime in the middle east and perhaps in the entire world as mahmoud amana sean's iran. they run over the terrorist theocracy and the disfigurement and murder to suppress dissent. they threaten genocide against their enemies and seek to develop genocidal weapons capable of wiping out entire nations of the face of the earth. they blow of embassies and community centers with massive casualties including women and children. the target people including
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ambassadors based on religion and ethnicity and national affiliation. the finance and facilitate terrorism and attacks against both civilians and soldiers including so many of our own. they commit war crimes against humanity and incitement to genocide. they are international criminals and like other organized criminal groups, they tell the witnesses to their crimes in order to prevent them from giving testimony against their leaders. now they are planning the killing of the largest concentration of witnesses to their crimes in the world today. those who are living in the camps ashraf and iraq. 3400 of armed dissidents many of them on witnesses to the worst abuse of the regime over many years, many of them but mrs. to the merger of their own family members. these are people who can give
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testimony or the international criminal court to invite all the ahmadinejad and others who've committed international crimes, and they should and they may well do that to read some of the most important -- [applause] i can tell you that issue is actively under consideration today. some of the most important witnesses might come from the 3400 residents of camp ashraf. that is one important reason why the potential war criminals who run the regime are so anxious to secant ashraf shut down and the weaknesses exposed as one human rights lawyer put it to quote the iranian executioners. it's the current intention of the government to close down the camp the day that the american soldiers leave which is at the
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end of the year you know that the iraqi government reiterated that in a memorandum to the european union. the residents now as we all know have very, very little time to figure out a way to keep themselves out of the clutches of the iranian killers who will surely be hunting for them. all for the dozens have been killed, hundreds wounded by the iraqi soldiers who are unsympathetic. the united states military and its dissidents protect the person's status under the fourth geneva convention and the high commissioner of the refugee has declared them asylum seekers who are entitled to international protections the there will be no one to actually protect if the campus closed down and arrangements are not earlier made to provide safe travel and safe haven. there are movements to bring the case against the leaders in the international criminal court as i mentioned. efforts are underway to try to
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persuade several nations that are signatories to the treaty to fight the charges including incitement to genocide and the murder of dissidents. if this were to happen the witnesses who currently reside in the camps the seven would secure the additional status of the protected witnesses and the prestige and the international criminal court might weigh in heavily on the for assuring that they were not harmed by ev calpers assigned to keep them from giving relevant testimony. i intend to communicate directly to the chief prosecutor, the international criminal court and urge him to grant witness protected status to the potential witnesses who today are in that camp. [applause]
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and it is an international crime to tamper with witnesses or to murder witnesses. that is what the mafia does. it's not what civilized societies do. in any event these deserve protection on humanitarian grounds. the action of the government and those in iraq up to the law make it clear that these dissidents are potential targets of the mischief. the united states government which was responsible for disarming them as the responsibility to protect them. we've heard from so many now about the impending visit of the iranian leader, the iraqi leader to the presidency of the united states. there was an interesting freudian slip. if the president of the united states does not demand a change in the iraqi government's commitment to close the camp, his silence will be taken as acquiescence, and that is so
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dangerous, silent acquiescence. one excuse as we know offered by those who wouldn't protect the inmates is that they are members of the mek, which was once a decade and a half ago designated mistakenly in my view by our government as a terrorist group. this was the first legal point listed by the iraqi government in its recent paper to the european community, the organization has already been classified by the international community is a terrorist organization but also refers to relations with neighboring countries which of course means iran, purchased relief terrorist nation and so regarded by all reasonable people. there are several legal moral and practical reasons why this excuse of the mek being listed just doesn't work. first of all even if it were true, and it's not, that the mek
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as a terrorist group that designation would not deny the residence at the camp protection under international law. certainly not all the residents if any can currently be deemed. they are disarmed, they are not engaged in any activities which meet any legal definition of terrorism of them are combatants under international law either lawful or unlawful combatants. second, the designation of the terrorist groups is questionable and more so today even if an organization has once been deemed a terrorist group it does not mean that maintains that status forever. law is clear. the status must be completely revisited, and there is no current evidence the would justify continuing the status of the terrorist group. consider and compare. [applause]
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consider and compare the palestinian liberation was certainly a terrorist group for many years growing up civilian buses, murdering athletes, hijacking commercial airlines to murdering students, people what prayer and diplomats. but it no longer retains that formal status. though the leaders, some of them at least skilling qtr best's by naming public squares after terrorists by paying money to the families of tourists and allowing incitement to terrorism and the government responsive media and many other ways to get the authority no longer bear the stigma of terrorism. it follows that mek shouldn't be considered a terrorist group now even if the designation was legally and factually warranted at some point in time which is highly doubtful and was almost certainly wrong. it is undoubtedly wrong now when the former head of the fdic and
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the former secretary of homeland security who have seen documents that none of us have available to us can certify that there is no current threat from this organization that ought to cover an enormous amount of ground and carry an enormous amount of weight. and the president of the united states and the secretary of state must consider the current evidence and must be list this organization. in any even to -- [applause] in any even to the thousands of women and the many children and the elderly and others who were among the 3400 residents of camp ashraf are entitled protection regardless of this anachronistic false designation still accorded to the mek. even if the iraqi government seems to concede this point and ury claiming to be dealing with
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the camp residents, quote, in accordance with of the human rights principles of international law enshrined in the universal declaration of human rights and the international convent on civil and political rights, but in practice the current plan to close the camp are a death warrant directed against the residence because the mek was once designated as a terrorist group by the united states government. now this stigma of a predict is going to be removed and it is going to be removed -- [applause] as soon as all the evidence is objectively considered. but it will be a victory if the residents are attacked and killed in the meantime despite the claims to be compliant with lot the government is hindering
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actively hindering u.n. agencies from trying to help the residents relocate to save places and now they are trying a new ploy to get some u.n. agencies and some u.n. leaders to support the policies that they are trying to implement. that is cynicism at its worst and cannot be allowed to succeed. the international community has often failed in preventing the mass murder of dissidents and perceived enemies of genocidal regime. just remember and consider the horrible tragedies of cambodia, of rwanda, darfur, the former yugoslavia, armenia many decades ago and of eastern europe 60 years ago. we said after the second world war never again but you know what happened to never again?
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it has become again and again and again and again. this time we must keep our collective humanitarian promise. the world is now on notice. it has no excuse and the holocaust happened every but he said we didn't know then the genocide we didn't know. when the cambodian genocide was occurring people are telling us it was propaganda. we didn't know. rwanda, darfur, we didn't know. we know. we have been told. we had been warned. [applause] the conscience of, we know we
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are on notice. we must act now to protect these 3400 vulnerable individuals. if we fail to do so, the blood of innocents will be on our collective hands and there are specific life-saving steps our government can take immediately. you've heard some of them from our distinguished speakers. we should appoint a special envoy to lead the efforts to the peace resolve to matter. we should call publicly on the iraqi government to remove the december 31st deadline coming and we should do that before maliki comes to the united states. we should take the matter to the u.n. security council for binding decision to prevent a human catastrophe coming and we should do it immediately the state department should act immediately to eliminate this horrible excuse that's been used by the iraqi regime, buy removing the mek from its list
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of the foreign terrorist organizations, and the united states, we, with our beautiful statue of liberty standing in the harbor, the statue of liberty that welcomed my grandparents and my great grandparents. we must be prepared to accept a number of residents of the campus on the humanitarian grounds. bring this to your poor, those to be freed, who fits the definition better than the people today for under the shadow of the sentence of death. so there is no time to wait. the clock of death is ticking. if not now, when? my friend who i know has been also active in this cause, once said of the lesson he learned from the holocaust is always believed the threat of your enemies more than the promises

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